Innovation For Convenience (Writer's Series Vol. 6)

Innovation For Convenience (Writer's Series Vol. 6)

Technology has delivered ever-increasing standards of convenience for us as human beings. From the heating system you can switch on remotely to the refrigerator that tells you the use-by dates of what it contains, we are seeing unprecedented levels of convenience in everyday life. The Internet of Things is moving at a great pace, changing the way we live our lives.

We are always connected, always switched on. This gives us access to more information that we thought possible only a few short years ago. But it does sometimes have the downside of not being able to take a break from the information highway. We have entered an era where we expect things to happen at the touch of a button. And we can get disappointed when it doesn’t quite work that way.

What Is Convenience?

Great question! What we once viewed as convenient doesn’t quite work in the same way any longer. A convenience store, for example, used to be one that was nearby and open from early morning to late night. But convenience now in retail means clicking a button and the items arriving at your door the next day. Amazon has changed the way we view shopping as a convenient activity, that’s for sure. But it isn’t only in retail that life has changed. Think about Uber and taxis, Airbnb and accommodation. The world is moving forward at quite a pace. As consumers of these services, we don’t take long to get to a place where we can’t remember what the world was like before that innovation. As an example - how difficult was it to compare prices and book a hotel room off your own back before the internet? It took telephone call after telephone call, a pen and paper and a lot of patience.

Wireless connectivity is at the forefront of many of these breakthroughs. After all, if you didn’t have a connection to the internet when out and about, you wouldn’t be able to hail an Uber.

Innovation Of Products

The above examples are innovative services, and a disruption in the way things are brought to you - the consumer. But innovation doesn’t only come in the form of new services, of course. Innovative products surround us. The rate of change here is so fantastic that we are forgiven for missing things. It wasn’t that long ago that a 3D television was seen as a thing of marvel. Now you can pick one up in any electrical store, and not at a much higher price than any other TV. We’ve moved on from 3D TV to HD to UHD to 4K and the next innovations are only just around the corner.

Products are now superseded in a short space of time by bigger and better models. Apple bring out a new iPhone at least annually, with the older models seen as inferior not long after. People upgrade before their existing contract has run out, consuming these new products as fast as the manufacturers can bring them out.

In this sphere, it isn’t just the phone itself that is subject to innovative forces. The software and cameras are upgraded all the time. You can now get a much better camera on a smartphone today than the top of the range digital camera of ten years ago. And then there are the accessories. Did we see AirPods coming when the iPhone first came out? Not at all.

The next major change in terms of accessories for mobile phones will be wireless charging. It is one of the inconveniences of owing a mobile phone that you have you find a plug and be tethered to the cable while charging. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Wireless Charging And Convenience

And convenience isn’t just the smart devices that give us information – it is the way we charge these things too. Wireless charging is here to stay. The biggest manufacturers of smartphones have developed their devices to work with wireless charging technology.

This is a much more convenient way of charging a phone- simply dropping it onto a charging mat and topping up the charge. It has massive applications for the home and the workplace. If you can charge without thinking about it (in essence, what wireless charging actually does) then this is the ultimate in convenience, don’t you think?

Wireless charging technology has moved forward massively over the last few years. With a common ground now, the mobile phone manufacturers are making models that you can charge without wires. And there are other benefits to this way of charging – the sealed unit is more resistant to water and dust. Having a hole in the bottom of your phone so the power cable can get to the battery exposes it to wear and tear as well as exterior items invading the interior of the phone. As with any electrical device, the inner workings of a smartphone are technical and delicate.

Conclusion

The innovations we are seeing today often revolve around convenience. We want our lives to be as easy as possible. And the mobile phone seems to be at the center of all this technology. As we have connectivity, we can explore the world around us. For all of this, we need two things –

  1. A decent network
  2. A phone that holds charge
The first one is a matter of infrastructure. The second one is coming soon to a home or office near you.